The Wild, Wild West

30 Jan

If I had to rank all of the touristy things I have done since arriving in Ireland, traveling to Inis Mór would without a doubt be at the top of my list. Coming to Ireland, I had a very specific idea of what it would look like. Dublin is a lovely city—but it’s just that, a city. When I think Ireland, I think of never-ending, rolling green hills. Inis Mór did not disappoint. Between the vibrant turquoise of the water and the green fields blocked off by rock walls (all 7,000 miles of them), I felt like I was looking at a scene from P.S. I Love You. It seemed very ironic to me that Inis Mór, “The Big Island,” had a population of 800 people. To compare, my graduating class from Marist next year will be around 1,000 students. I knew that Ireland was a small place, but seeing a high school of only 70 pupils really put that in perspective for me. This place is tiny.

I was somewhat surprised at the fact that I did not hear Irish spoken at all while in the West, specifically on the island. Our tour guide on the island had an extremely thick accent (to the point where he had to repeat everything twice), but I didn’t hear the native language actually spoken. Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to make my way back to the West so I can hear it being used organically.

While I did love the entirety of our trip, I don’t know if anything can compare to sitting on the cliffs of Dun Aengus. The stunning 2,500-year-old fort, the shining sun, and the crashing waves surrounding me created such a surreal experience. It was almost as if I had stepped into a storybook filled with perfectly constructed illustrations. Based on how amazing this trip was, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of Ireland has in store for me!

-Hanna Ciechanowski

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